Friday 03 Apr 2020 | 00:02 | SYDNEY
Friday 03 Apr 2020 | 00:02 | SYDNEY

The power (or not) of ideas


Sam Roggeveen


2 December 2008 12:19

Think tanks like the Lowy Institute premise their work on the assumption that good ideas, well expressed and skilfully promoted, can influence the opinions of powerful people and thus move policy. But as this review of Michael Wolff's new Rupert Murdoch biography shows, ideas don't always matter very much:

Murdoch's political worldview floats on an "amalgamation of half facts, quasiprejudices, shorthand analysis, and cockeyed assumptions, with a smattering of gossip. All combined with his massive certainty and determined nature. That's the basis of his and his newsrooms' political agenda." (Wolff) continues: "A vital element in understanding his political consciousness is understanding its shallowness. For an ideologue, he's done little of the reading. Ideas are of marginal interest to him; he's a poor debater (although he can raise his voice and pound the table)."